One Small Step for Peoplekind; One Giant Side‑Eye at Justin Trudeau

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Feb 8, 2018

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Justin Trudeau, the only man who could ever win a “Who Wants to Shag a Politician” contest, drew the Internet’s ire at a town hall last week. When a particularly long-winded young woman (Side note: Jeez, lady, please brag about your cult-church-weird-religious-thing on social media like the rest of us, mmmkay?) used the word “mankind,” the Canadian prime minister facetiously interrupted her to say that we should all say “peoplekind,” now, because “it’s more inclusive.”

No. Just… no.

Full disclosure: I’ve never liked Trudeau. To me, somehow, he’s always seemed like Freddie Prinze Jr from She’s All That. I just KNOW that at some point, the entire world is going to be at prom, and we’ll find out that Trudeau made a bet to humiliate us and that’s why he’s been so charming.

But he’s soooo good looking, people whine. He said he’s a feminist! He hugged panda cubs! He hugged Obama, too! He balances babies with one hand! OMG HE’S SO GOOD LOOKING.

Firstly, get a grip on yourselves, people. No, not there, pervs. On your brains, I mean.

Secondly, he’s cute – I grant you that. But he’s also hugely problematic. His policies and hypocritical stance on climate change alone are worrying; Trudeau’s government is backing plans for the single largest coal mine on Earth, which will produce, in one year, 362% of the Philippines’ annual carbon emissions. And his administration is also aiming to recover 173 billion barrels of recoverable oil from Alberta’s tar sands, to be sold off to the highest bidders —  oil that will use up a third of the Earth’s remaining carbon budget. Of course, when we’re all gasping for air, at least we die looking at his photogenic face on Instagram.

And after accepting 25,000 Syrian refugees while the cameras are on, giving soundbytes and tweets that paraphrased the Statue of Liberty’s welcome message (but Canadianized), Trudeau conveniently disappeared when refugees from Haiti beseeched his country for asylum.

But his heart was in the right place? Yeah, it’s just his mouth that slips consistently. Like his hypocrisy when it comes to LGBTQ communities – he’s all for them for the Pride walk photos, but in reality, has changed very little, even in matters of blood donation. Gay men in Canada cannot give blood and have sex with another man for up to a year. Trudeau promised to abolish this law, but just altered it with a ‘There, I fixed it for ya!’

Canada isn’t hot on him, either. I feel your pain, Canada. A young(ish), good-looking, photogenic guy who’s from a famous political family, is educated and travelled, and looks like he has all the answers and could make a difference – and then doesn’t. The Gandhis Trudeaus are not the only political family that could be disguising a damp squib.

This latest gaffe is pretty much on point for him. Trudeau interrupts a woman who is talking about maternal love and how it will make things better for all mankind (from the Old English word mancynn meaning human race) with a soundbyte-worthy, look-at-me-I’m-so-cool-cute-sexy-PC with a NON-EXISTENT word – peoplekind.

(We can’t rant about #MeToo without someone crying #notallmen — but we can’t even say the word mankind without someone correcting us to say ‘peoplekind’?)

Trudeau has since spoken about the incident, telling reporters he made “a dumb joke.”

“You all know that I don’t necessarily have the best track records on jokes,” he said.

Seriously? It was a petty, dumb move playing for the cameras – and it fell flat. This cute aw-shucks t’werent-my-fault dad-humour-blaming explanation misses the point of everyone’s outrage: empty gestures are no longer enough.

Let me peopleswomansplain something to you, Justin. You’re peoplemanipulating social media all the time, and you’re peoplemanufacturing all these images that you know will portray you as the pinnacle of peoplemaniness with amazingly people-manicured hands. We had no hopes for Putin or Trump. But you fooled us. And you can only fool all of the peoplekind some of the time. Your time might be up.

Clean up your peoplemanifesto and your mis-peoplemanagement of your country’s resources, indigenous history and the environment, and actually make a goddamn difference, instead of pretending to be woke, manpeople.

I give up; it’s not a real word anyway.

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Written By Akhila Vijaykumar

Akhila Vijaykumar is a writer with experience across advertising and journalism. Occasionally, the crossover does make her demand truth from soap and try to cajole quotes into starbursts, but no harm no foul. She loves books by Terry Pratchett, dogs and pizza, often at the same time.

See all articles by Akhila
  1. Kaveri Bharath

    And the veils feel from my eyes when he pushed for the DAPL, while pretending to be “pro nature” and “pro indigenous people”!!! Really???!! Hypocrisy!

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